Civil engineering PhD student Kinan Bahbouh said he left his laptop on the floor while meeting a friend at a coffee shop and when he looked down, the computer had vanished.
Bahbouh, who attends the École Polytechnique de Montréal, said he filed a police report last spring but it was his own sleuthing that led him to the alleged thieves.
A few weeks ago, the people who took the laptop started using an online file storage service that he subscribes to.
Alleged thieves upload photos of themselves
Bahbouh says the thieves uploaded close to a thousand pictures and videos of themselves.
"I received like a huge quantity of information," he said.
When Bahbouh reached out to police with the new information, he said they told him a stolen laptop is not a priority.
He said he was also warned against trying to retrieve the computer on his own.
"I'm afraid that someone will use my personal information for the wrong reasons and I would like to insist that the police do something," Bahbouh said.
Montreal police would not comment on Bahbouh’s file.
Eric Sutton, a Montreal criminal defense attorney, said authorities should be doing more.
Sutton said if Bahbouh's evidence looks plausible enough, police don't need a warrant to investigate.
"Police should at the very least try to contact these people, or even go to knock on their door," Sutton said.
Bahbouh is not sure what his next steps will be, but he said he’s certain of one thing — he’ll be more wary of where he leaves his new laptop.
"I really put it beside me, not on the floor."
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